Turkey’s Limak sees big future in Africa
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyMaking even a small step in Africa provides a big change as the emerging continent still needs infrastructure and superstructure investments, the head of Turkish group Limak Yatirim Holding told Anadolu Agency on Nov. 16.
Ebru Özdemir, chair of Limak Investment - an investment arm of Limak Group Companies - said the firm would like to be part of Africa’s development process.
“We have been doing business in Africa for six years and Limak currently has operations in five different African countries. We are very eager to work in Africa and hope that we can grow our business in some other countries,” Özdemir added.
Özdemir said Limak was the second biggest cement producer in Turkey, and the company needed to grow and expand in different countries.
The company has started two new investments, one in West Africa in the Ivory Coast and the other in East Africa in Mozambique, worth $40 million.
“What [Africa] needs of course is cement, infrastructure, ports,
airports and energy. Whatever you do in Africa, even a small investment, is going to make a big change,” said Özdemir.
Commenting about the risks of doing business in Africa in terms of its unstable political and economic environment, Özdemir said: “We are long-term investors. If you are an entrepreneur, then you have to take some risks. We really work hard and intensely in Africa to accommodate any kind of risk possible.
“We would like to really be part of African development by showing them our best practices in businesses, in PPP [public-private sector partnership] contracts, in everything that we have done in Turkey successfully,” she added.
Özdemir said Limak differentiates itself from other international companies by also investing in education to increase the number of qualified African staff.
“We bring our knowledge and transfer our expertise to these countries, so that they can learn how to continue the business in the next stages. This is something that we don’t generally see in Chinese contractors or companies approach,” she said.
“Limak always comes with a social responsibility project, together with its own business, and education is one of our core competencies in social projects.
“So we would like to establish academies everywhere we are, to really train and educate the young people over there, to develop necessary talents to operate these businesses themselves,” Özdemir added.
Limak Investment’s head also stressed that establishing local partnerships was essential to perform successful business anywhere, and said: “If the country doesn’t host you well, if the government, the bureaucracy, the local people don’t help you, it is impossible for you to be successful.”